concerts in Baghdad
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BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Members of rival motorcycle teams in Iraq, dressed in leather and black hats, took part in semi-circles with a dancing party and waved shiny illuminated sticks as they raised their tattooed arms.
The Mughal Motorcycle Club was one of several circles with a summer festival organized by the Reutter Gear Company held at the stadium in central Baghdad.
The scene was completely different from the images the media used to relay from the city of violence and chaos. But nearly two years after Iraq declared total victory over ISIS, the Iraqi capital is quietly restructuring.
Since the removal of the fences surrounding the so-called Green Zone in Baghdad, a feature of the city since the US-led invasion in 2003 that toppled Saddam Hussein, the city has regained its normal life.
Arshad Hibet, 30, a film director and founder of the company, which organizes the concerts, said the company organized the ceremony so that people know that Iraq has this culture and people who love life and music.
RIOT GEAR has previously held similar concerts in Iraq before, but Friday’s concert was the first open to the public.
The ceremony began with young people showing off their modified imported cars and motorcycles. By nightfall, the event turned into a dance.
The Iraqi hip-hop team, Trib of Monsters, played a mix of different music as young men danced and swayed amid strong lights and smoke-emitting devices and broadcast their concert live on Snapchat and Instagram sites.
The ceremony was a great mix of booming subcultures in Baghdad, bringing together drivers, players and others. What was most common was that they had never attended such a ceremony in Iraq before.
“I mean, we are surprised and hilarious,” said a 21-year-old man from the audience.
Despite the predominance of young men at the ceremony, many girls attended and danced near the main stage and seemed to be very enjoyable. The organizers were keen to have a “family section” so that groups of women, families and couples could dance together away from the enthusiastic crowd.
Among those who attended the ceremony was a girl who said her first name was appointed, who declined to give her last name. “Of course, this whole party is very happy.